You know this scenario. You’re invited to someone’s house for a get together. You flip over a dish they’ve prepared for you. You beg for the recipe and cross your fingers that they are willing to share it with you. That’s how I got this treasured treat from a friend’s family recipe archive. The dinner they prepared was delicious, but this dessert was over the top! (How I love it when people share and don’t mind at all if you pass it along.) So, I think you should rescue this recipe and make it your own! (Oh, and I’ve thrown in a recipe for homemade vanilla ice cream just for grins!)
The Iconic Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake
Passion, romance or chocolate. Which do you prefer for Valentine’s Day? It’s not that we don’t love Love. But dang it if chocolate doesn’t steal the ol’ heart, right? So just in time for Valentine’s Day, I’m featuring an iconic dessert that actually put the Bundt Cake on the culinary map. It was 1966 at the 17th Annual Pillsbury Bake Off Content. She wasn’t even the first place winner, but Ella Rita Helfrich set the world on molten chocolate fire with her second place winning Tunnel of Fudge Cake. Up until Ella pulled her cake out of the oven, the Nordic Ware company was not having great success with their unusual invention, the Bundt Pan. In fact, they were about to discontinue the line due to lack of sales. What a difference one day and one cake can make! The recipe was such a smash hit nationwide, that the company had to make 30 thousand pans a day just to keep up with the demand! So this fudgy cake is not just a lavish, chocolately gooey-centered yummy work of art, but it was actually responsible for the whole Bundt Pan craze! The cake itself proved just as popular as the pan. But then! Pillsbury discontinued the crucial ingredient to the cake’s success, Double Dutch Frosting Mix, and angry fans of the cake deluged the company with complaints, prompting Pillsbury to adapt the recipe, replacing the frosting mix with cocoa powder and confectioners’ sugar. Ella won $5,000 for her creation, but its unique mysterious chocolate tunnel, brownie-like consistency and silken chocolate topping makes is worth a million bucks which, incidentally, is what the winner takes home today! So, again, let me ask you. Passion, romance or chocolate? Read on!
Ice Cream Churro Cones
It’s always on the list of favorite treats for summer; Ice cream in any shape, flavor or form. And if you want to create a cone with a real Southwest twist, how about a home-made, hand-crafted ice cream cone that tastes just like a Mexican churro, and it holds as much ice cream as the cone you are willing to create! While homemade churros are pretty tough to tackle (churro dough is very dense and sticky), this cone is made with store-bough biscuit dough, making the process a whole lot easier. The dough is wrapped around a homemade paper mold. It is then baked, rolled in cinnamon and sugar, baked again and then coated on the inside with dipping chocolate which seals it, preventing a soggy cone. Load it up with scoops of your favorite ice cream for a cool and festive way to celebrate summer, Southwest style!
Dulce de Leche Cupcakes
It’s a Latin American favorite that the western world has embraced as its own. Dulce de Leche, a thick and sugary caramel-like sauce made by slowly heating sweet milk, has found its way into just about every dessert and beverage we love. Here is a rich and delicious cupcake made with homemade Dulce de Leche that’s incorporated in the batter as well as the frosting. Enjoy!
Sometimes even the big guys make mistakes. I mean big as in TV GUIDE big. But if it wasn’t for TV Guide’s typo in one of its cookbooks, I may never have tried this recipe at all, and that would have been a bigger mistake. As it turns out, I now have a brand new favorite dessert and it couldn’t be any easier to prepare. I can almost guarantee if you love lemony lusciousness, it’s going to be one of your new favorites too. So here’s the story. Years ago, TV GUIDE produced the Celebrity Dish Treats and Sweets Cookbook with recipes from television stars who are also gourmet cooks like Barbara Mandrell and General Hospital’s Robin Mattson. As I’m perusing the pages, I come across a recipe for Lemon Syllabus. Syllabus?
Now I’ve heard of Lemon Syllabub, but never the latter. The best way to describe Syllabub is a creamy, fluffy decadent lemon mousse. The recipe has been around for centuries and it got a new life recently when it was served up on PBS’s popular series Downton Abbey.
I had never tried Syllabub before—it was never in my cooking syllabus. But it is now.
I’ve given you two different versions, both ridiculously simple. One is with apple juice and the other with white wine. Both take about 10 minutes to make and an hour or so to chill, and each has a wonderful, rich flavor. I just ask that you don’t let your guests know how simple Syllabub is to whip up. Instead, serve it as if you were a Cordon Bleu master chef. It tastes that good. So, that’s the story. From a “syllie” typo to a decadent dessert that I will now serve time and time again!
Surprise Filling Apple Pie
Homemade fresh-out-of-the-oven apple pie ala mode. Pretty hard to beat. When I got a letter this week from Sun City resident Eva Meeks, it included a recipe for an award-winning apple pie that she had clipped from a magazine a few years ago. Here’s part of Eva’s letter:
“During the 4th of July holiday I hosted a pot luck for my family and decided to bake my favorite apple pie. I’ve been making it for several years now, and it’s always a big hit. Apparently this pie won some blue ribbons at state and county fairs. All I know is it wins hearts every time I make it for friends and family. It has a surprise filling that really adds a nice flavor. I thought you’d like to try it.”
Well, Eva, you thought right! I wasted no time peeling the Granny Smith apples and mixing up the “surprise” filling. I’m so happy Eva “blind bakes” (also known as pre-baking) her bottom crust. I’ve always done that as well because the bottom shell stays somewhat crispy after filling and baking. I’m also a fan of cooking my apples just to soften before filling the pie shell. Eva softens her apples in the microwave and then adds the rest of the ingredients. If you’re an apple pie lover, dish this one up with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream and you’ll be in for a big surprise!